The Burbank City Council met virtually on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 and began the meeting with the adjournment of retired Burbank Fire Engineer, Arthur “Art” Popkin, who worked for the department from 1964 to 1989.
Mayor Bob Frutos had five announcements at the beginning of the meeting. The first was on the Burbank Small Business COVID Assistance Program which is now open and accepting applications from micro-enterprises, small businesses and independent contractors impacted by COVID 19. Loans are on a first come first serve basis and you can apply at www.burbank.cceda.com. The second announcement was on the second round of Emergency Rental Assistance program which is now available for low income renters.
Passport services are open and available but appointments are highly encouraged. Processing times are 10-12 weeks and an expedited time of 4-6 weeks. Another announcement from Mayor Frutos was that the City Clerk’s office is accepting applications for two vacancies on the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority for a four year term ending May 31, 2025. The deadline for applications is Friday, April 30 at 5:00pm. Lastly, the Community Development Department will be hosting a California Environmental Quality Act Scoping Meeting for State-required updates to the Burbank2035 General Plan including the 6th Cycle (2021-2029) on March 31st at 6:00pm. To join the meeting visit www.burbankhousingelement.
Three proclamations were presented by Mayor Frutos at the meeting, including a proclamation declaring Monday, March 31, 2021 as “Cesar Chavez Day” in the City of Burbank. Principal Dr. Jennifer Meglemre, from the newly re-named Dolores Huerta Middle School, accepted the certificate. The second proclamation declared April 4-10, 2021 as National Library Week in the City of Burbank and was accepted by Emily Weisberg, Board of Library Trustees Chair. Lastly, a proclamation was declared condemning racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and was accepted by City Treasurer Krystle Palmer.
A presentation from Metro representative, Scott Hartwell addressed the Council about the Metro NoHo-Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit Project, providing an update on the project goals. Current goals are to address transportation issues, create a robust and reliable transit service, provide convenient access to local and regional activity centers, encourage transit as an alternative to automobiles, and to improve air quality for a healthier city. Two virtual public hearings were held and over 500 comments were received. The highlights showed no significant and unavoidable impacts as the project would reduce miles traveled, and provide better air quality, energy, and less greenhouse gas emissions, as well as noise.
A new Olive Avenue Bridge Stop located was proposed at the original station location and could relocate the station to the top of the bridge if/when the bridge is widened. They looked at the conversion of one travel lane in each direction on Olive from Buena Vista to Glenoaks and Metro will implement the City’s suggested reroute through Alameda/Buena Vista to serve Disney studios, Providence Medical Center, and additional health service buildings. Mayor Frutos expressed concern for the businesses and residents in the area who would be affected by the removal of parking as the plan is to put the busses in the curb parking lanes.
Public comment was then opened up allowing callers 3 minutes to speak. While there were many topics addressed, the majority of calls revolved around the concerns regarding the upcoming restaurant, Raising Cane’s. A representative from the restaurant also called in to let the public know that they would be holding a public community meeting soon.
The Consent Calendar was presented as followed and the 6th item was pulled by Vice Mayor Talamantes for questions at the end of the meeting. The calendar was voted on and approved in one motion with Councilmember Sharon Springer voting no to #7 and Mayor Frutos voting no to #7 and #8.
- Adopt an unmodified urgency ordinance extending the local commercial eviction moratorium by amending the ordinance to commercial tenants only.
- Approve the Housing Authority minutes
- Authorize the General Manager of Burbank Water and Power (BWP) to enter into an agreement between the City of Burbank and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to modify a service connection by installing a new flow meter.
- Approve and authorize the General Manager of BWP, as designee of the City Manager to enter into Amendment No.1 to the Cost Sharing Agreement and to execute any ancillary documents necessary to implement the agreement.
- Adopt a resolution approving a Funding Agreement between the City of Burbank and the Child Care Resource Center and authorizing the Parks and Recreation Department Director to execute the agreement.
- Approve a three-year agreement for BurbankBus Transit Operations and Maintenance Services, with MV Transportation, Inc., with two, one-year options to extend the agreement.
- Adopt an unmodified ordnance to cap commission rates for food delivery and non-delivery related service fees.
- Introduce an ordinance amending Burbank Municipal Code Section 2-1-413 regarding the Police Commission.
A public hearing was opened up regarding the adoption of a resolution for the Section 8 Program and report of the Burbank Public Housing Agency Annual Plan (Fiscal Year 2021-2022) and proposed administrative plan updates. Tricia Smith, a Housing Specialist, gave the presentation, expressing the program’s mission to assist the most needy and vulnerable households in the community. There are currently 880 voucher holders in Burbank with an estimated $10 million allocated for FY 2021-2022. The waitlist has approximately 30,000 applicants for Burbank. They stopped taking applications in 2016 and won’t open back up until the number of applications drops below 100. Every two years they purge the list and check in with applicants to make sure they still qualify or are in need. A unanimous vote approved the adoption.
A report was given to council from Marisa Garcia in the Parks and Recreation department providing an overview on the DeBell Golf Course. In December of 2018 a five year management agreement was approved and Touchstone Golf Inc. assumed operation and maintenance of the golf course as well as the Hilltop Restaurant and Bar. Touchstone currently manages 41 golf courses, 17 of which reside in California. The company has provided new lithium golf carts, a new driving range ball dispensing machine, sand bunker renovations, clubhouse improvements and more. Their future plans are to improve performance, enhance service experience, player development, competitive fees, and course improvements. DeBell also allows the high school teams to practice for free, hosts matches and raised money to support the teams. The report was noted and filed.
A second report provided an informational update on Raising Cane’s restaurant at 1750 W. Olive Ave. The City Attorney, Amy Albano, spoke on why the presentation was a note and file, and that is because the developer has already implemented actions such as issued permits and construction. A presentation was given by Deputy City Planner, Scott Plambaeck, regarding the construction plan which facilities on-site parking and flow of traffic. The C-2 zone allows the existing bank use and proposed fast food restaurant use, and according to Burbank Municipal Code Section 10-1-1609 (D) the bank drive through window can be used for the restaurant as long as it was built before Dec 26, 1998, which it was. The window must remain at the same location and the modification can not result in an increase of pre-building permit value by 10% or more.
As for demolition, the existing building did not meet the required setbacks so the structure cannot be demolished to the extent of more than 50% of its replacement cost. The building official determined the proposed demolition is less than 50% and will now meet the required setbacks. Raising Cane’s is aware of the Municipal codes prohibiting congregation of people around their business and on public right of way to reduce noise and is working with staff to address all community concerns. Councilmember Springer expressed concern on the project and did not agree with the report. Mayor Frutos asked what the city can do when traffic spills into the residential areas, and staff discussed options like parking restrictions and permits, barriers, turning arrows, and addressing whole neighborhoods, not just just single streets to avoid overflow. The report was noted and filed.
A report as presented on an update to Burbank’s brand implementation via Simone McFarland, the Public Information Officer. The new brand is to supplement and not replace the city seal and covers logo, font, and the hidden play button in the center of the “B.” The play button represents the media companies that exist in Burbank. Each city department chose their own color in the “B” to represent their team and the logos will be placed on city vehicles as they come in for maintenance. Police and fire vehicles will not be updated. Three color choices were presented to the Council for the City Council logo and the second recommendation was approved for a logo with hues of purple, pink and blue.
Lastly, a report was given on the new City website from Kevin Gray, which has a target launch of April 15th. The new website will have the updated brand as the foundation of the look and feel with simple visuals, broken text, geometric shapes and lines, easy to use buttons, more photos, and a visible search. A breaking news banner will be on the homepage with any emergency updates and icons on the homepage help people with the top five things people search for. A news box and events/meeting box also appear on the homepage. The website can be easily switched over to in Spanish or Armenian.